“Sister” Group Visits Dyke Marsh

On April 14, 2023, Dan Rauch, Fisheries and Wildlife Biologist for the Washington, D.C., government, led a walk, billed as a "riverside chat," in Dyke Marsh for 13 members of the Potomac Conservancy.

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Dan Rauch led the group along the Haul Road trail.   All photos by Glenda Booth

Guests were awed by the female barred owl (Strix varia) nesting in a tree cavity with her tail protruding. “It looks like a turkeytail fungus,” Rauch said, complimenting her camouflaging talents. The male was keeping watch nearby.

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The nesting female barred owl’s tail protrudes from a tree cavity.
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Dan Rauch described barred owl behavior as the group searched for the camouflaged male.

The group also saw a great horned owl (Bubo virginianus ), a young bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) moving around in the Haul Road nest, ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) refurbishing their nest on the boat ramp platform, a North American beaver (Castor canadensis) and a five-lined skink (Plestiodon fasciatus). Rauch pointed out many migrating birds and a steady chorus of bird calls.

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A five-lined skink warmed in the sun.


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